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Tourism dollars welcome but don’t leave Arts and Entertainment Industry out: Greens

The Greens are calling on the Morrison Government to provide targeted support to the arts and entertainment industry, together with the Covid Tourism Package expected to be announced this week before JobKeeper is cut off. 

Greens Spokesperson for the Arts, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said:

“A support package for the tourism industry is welcome, but it is well overdue and should be accompanied by a continuation of JobKeeper for as long as it is necessary during the pandemic. 

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Blocked vaccine shipment makes the case for domestic production

The Greens say that halted shipments of Astra Zeneca vaccines from Europe show the risks of relying on international supply chains to inoculate Australians, extending their call for the government to establish a publicly-owned vaccine production centre.

News of a quarter of a million doses due for Australia being blocked has exposed the risks caused by the privatisation and winding down of Australia’s domestic vaccine production capabilities over decades.

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$25 a week is a cruel joke

Today is an extremely distressing day for the 1.5 million people on the JobSeeker and Youth Allowance payments who have now had confirmation that the Morrison Government has made the cruel decision to condemn them to poverty. 
 
$44 a day is not enough to live on. This will mean people going without meals, without medication, without the funds to pay for heating or cooling.
 
This should not be happening in a country as wealthy as Australia.
 
This is an appalling slap in the face for all those people trying to survive on Jobseeker.
 

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We need a new approach to quarantine

Rachel Siewert 17 Feb 2021

The Greens say quarantine facilities need to be established out of cities and that facilities must be publicly funded and run. 

“Our hotel quarantine system needs to be watertight. The UK, South Africa, Brazil variants are becoming the dominant variants in other parts of the world and we must keep these from getting out into our community”, Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said

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Mr Morrison must stop playing games with Jobseeker’s lives and announce a permanent increase to Jobseeker

The Greens say a so-called employment insurance scheme is an appalling idea and that Mr Morrison is being cruel to people on the Jobseeker payment, drip feeding potential plans for the JobSeeker payment through media leaks.

“This so-called insurance scheme would make an already appalling system worse, further entrenching poverty and homelessness”, Greens spokesperson on Family and Community Services Senator Rachel Siewert said. 

“This concept is based on the assumption that has been disproven time and again, that poverty is an incentive to finding work. 

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Greens welcome AstraZeneca approval but say further diversity is needed. 

Rachel Siewert 16 Feb 2021

The Greens welcome the news that AstraZeneca has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia.
 
“However we cannot put all our eggs in one basket. It’s clear with differing rates of efficacy and with new Covid-19 strains developing that we must continue to expand and diversify Australia’s vaccine portfolio”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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South Africa's AstraZeneca suspension underlines urgency of local vaccine manufacture

The Greens say the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out in South Africa shows the need for the government to establish a publicly-owned mRNA vaccine manufacturer in Australia.

Australia needs to be nimble and able to quickly adapt vaccines to ever-mutating strains of COVID, which would only be possible with a local, publicly owned facility that puts health, not profits, first.

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said:

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Childcare Expenses Back To Pre-Covid Levels

Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that the December quarter Consumer Price Index data released today by the ABS has revealed “out-of-pocket [childcare] expenses have now returned to pre-COVID levels in all capital cities.”

Senator Faruqi said:

“These latest numbers put us back to where we were before Covid-19 – with one of the most expensive childcare systems in the world.

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